DMS Grads Participate in MEC Fellowship Program

NOVA alumnae Marsha Colburn and Jasmine Hunter were recently selected to participate in the Medical Education Campus (MEC) Ambassador Fellowship Program to offer assistance and expand their professional development opportunities with the diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) program for the fall and spring semesters.

The MEC Ambassador Fellowship program, funded through a grant from the NOVA Foundation, provides opportunities for Colburn and Hunter to enhance the effectiveness of the DMS program, campus engagement through Student Life activities and events as well as experience professional development opportunities supported by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). In addition to being mentored by DMS Program Director Leigh Giles-Brown, the fellows will also conduct research and implement tutorials to assist students in utilizing the MEC’s ultrasound and simulation equipment.

As the first Fellows selected to participate in the MEC’s Ambassador Program, both Colburn and Hunter went through a rigorous selection process in August, which involved an application and qualifications review in addition to an interview with a selection panel of several MEC faculty and staff. Both fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend per semester.

Upon graduating from NOVA’s DMS program in Dec. 2016, Colburn has worked as pro re nata, (PRN) at Mary Washington Healthcare. As a Fredericksburg native, prior to enrolling in the MEC’s DMS program 2016, she was a stay-at-home mom, working part-time jobs to help provide for her family. Colburn received her bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., but decided finding a job in healthcare would be a better economic option. After conducting research on several careers, she discovered the DMS program at the MEC was affordable and accessible.

“The DMS program has made leaps and bounds since I first enrolled as a student at the MEC,” Colburn said. “I’m excited to come back and help it progress more. Working as a fellow offers me the opportunity to learn and experience new things that I may not be exposed to while working in the field. It’s a great way to stay connect with professors, learn from current students and train with new medical equipment.”

Born in South Korea, at age nine Hunter migrated to the U.S. to live in New York.  After completing her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Barnard College, she joined the U.S. Army.

“After I completed my military assignment, I was looking for a job that was peaceful and accessible to work part-time because I had three small children, Hunter said. “My experience volunteering with the American Red Cross helped me to discover my passion for working in healthcare. Once I found out about NOVA and their program offerings, my family and I moved to Springfield just so I could enroll in the DMS program.”

After graduating from NOVA in Dec. 2017, Hunter currently works part-time as an ultrasound sonographer at the Children’s National Medical Center.

Both Colburn and Hunter said they are lucky to give back to the program and campus that helped them to become highly-trained healthcare professionals.

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